|Sheffield PIRTEK 'Tigers' v Edinburgh 'Fulfilment Factory' Monarchs||Premier Trophy||31st March|
|Sean Wilson ©||9.46||3||2||3||2'||2'||13|
|Theo Pijper ©||6.55||1'||3||1||2||7+1|
Heavy duty track maintenance followed by persistent rain left its mark and the start was delayed until after 8pm as they attempted to produce a racing track. With the heavy wet shale scraped off it left a smooth and consistent surface, but passing was at a premium and the Sheffield second-strings in particular found points hard to come by. The repair work on the second bend seems to have done the trick with only a slight bobble on the inside to show that the surface was only hours old.
The re-vamped Monarchs adapted more quickly to conditions than the home riders and kept the scoreline very close, and when Richard Hall shed his chain in heat 12 the resulting 1-5 gave the Monarchs the lead. Cometh the hour, cometh the man and with a little good fortune the Tigers took maximum points from the last three heats to lend an air of respectability to the final score.
The Tigers were dealt two 'Get out of Jail free' cards in the closing stages. Sean moved before the tapes were released at the start of heat 13, and although Craig Ackroyd determined that he hadn't touched the tapes he called them all back for a re-start. Before he got back to the starting line André discovered he had a puncture and was given time to fit a replacement. André swooped high and wide around the Monarchs to join Sean at the front in the restart which he surely wouldn't have achieved with a flat tyre! Then Robert Ksiezak's throttle stuck open and he careered into the fence on the 3rd turn in heat 14 as Ricky Ashworths bike spluttered and choked at the back of the field. The resulting delay while Robert & the fence received attention allowed Ricky to fix the gremlins and he followed Cooperman home for another maximum win in the restart.
The previously impressive Ross Brady was tailed off at the back in heat 15 to complete the Monarchs demise, although his four lap battle with Sean in heat 6 where the lead changed hand countless times was the race of the season so far. Rusty Harrison top scored for the Monarchs but didn't beat a single Sheffield heat-leader, and Daniel Nermark only headed Ben Wilson and Paul Cooper. Theo Pijper was good value but young Aussie Robert Ksiezak turned in a very respectable Owlerton debut and will certainly be one to watch for in the future.
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